16543/X-Mas Party

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X-Mas Party
Date of Scene: 23 December 2023
Location: Event Hall (Student Dining)
Synopsis: Xaviers School hosts its annual Christmas party for high society highs.
Cast of Characters: Rogue, Monet St. Croix, Douglas Ramsey, Mary Bromfield, Jean Grey, Olivia Gaudin, Kitty Pryde, Negasonic, Jonothon Starsmore, Laura Kinney, Logan Howlett, Evan Sabahnur, Cinque Evers, Samuel Guthrie, Isabel Kane

Rogue has posed:
For those who have been dreaming of a white Christmas, they find it when they make it up to Westchester tonight. Valet parking outside offers an easy reprieve from the cold weather, but the long driveway route up to the mansion yields a heck of a view of the place fully decorated for the holidays. Lights line the snow covered hedges that help usher the arriving guests toward the main house with a festive show of cheer, while the well dressed valet attendees help guests out of their vehicles upon arriving at the front stairs to the large mansion. It's a picture perfect setting, not at all aided by the talents of a particular weather goddess who calls this mansion home. Clearly though, great steps have been taken to set the stage tonight, and it's a perfect representation of a upstate New York holiday.

Once inside, the main foyer of Xaviers is equally adorned in decroative displays, with a fifteen foot Christmas tree to the side of the grand staircase. Guests are summarily ushered through the idylic main foyer toward the west wing where they soon are shown access to the main event hall. With high ceilings, and a spacious setup the hall is the centerpiece for tonight's gathering. Many are already on-hand tonight, likely residents and faculty of the school itself.

A second Christmas tree is decorated in one of the corners of this event hall, equally decked out with all the trimmings of ornamentation, lights, and sparkling effects. A huge table is set aside with finger foods, holiday treats, and more. While a bar area rests on the opposite wall, where two bartenders in tuxedo attire serve drinks to the arriving guests. Holiday music is being played by a group of men and women with string instruments, giving a cheery atmosphere to the growing ambience of the night.

Amongst it all, Charles Xavier resides near the fireplace in the event hall, dressed to the nines in a tux of his own, the Professor is STANDING as he has recently become unattached to his former wheelchair. The aging Professor is all smiles as he greets people who come in, offering handshakes to those who approach him, and small conversations for those who he knows best.

Amongst it all, Rogue, one of the many faculty members in attendance tonight, is near the food and drinks area, dressed in a dark green corset and dress, white opera gloves extending up to her biceps, and a tall glass of champagne already clutched in her left hand. With her hair done up nicely, and a perfectly balanced amount of smokey-hued makeup, she's enjoying the gala as it begins to unfold tonight!

Monet St. Croix has posed:
Arriving somewhat late, Monet St. Croix enters in. Close to her is a.. Strange looking girl for those that haven't met. Ruby skinned, made of edges. Skin of solid metal, spikes over in her hair. Pupiless eyes matching her skin tone. Long spiked hair ending in barbs. Moving on her hands and feet. Wearing a dark black outfit made up of numerous straps almost looking like a straitjacket.
    Monet is dressing rather subdued for M standards. It's perhaps quite surprising for those that know her.
    She would glance over at Charles, "Forgive me, Professor.. I wanted to bring my sisters to something that they could enjoy a bit." She goes to take her hand over to rest it on the smaller girl's shoulder, careful to just rest on the leather.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug's tuxedo tonight is a Jumbo Carnation special. Despite seeming to be a classic cut, there's a faint iridescence to it, a hint of color that seems to change depending on the light and even from moment to moment. Subtle shifting hues that one can't really see but there's always a faint hint of them in the fabric - an intimation of purple, or blue, or even gold, like a really good inker was playing subtle tricks on a reader.

He enters the main room, taking a moment to relive a few old memories, before he takes a glass of champagne off of a passing server and then waits politely for his plus one. "Oh, hey." He says, "It's M." He takes a taste of his champagne, and then says, "...Who's that with her?"

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary Bromfield isn't a former or even current student, but since she's dating one she got the invite through Marie-Ange Colbert. Sadly, Marie got a bit of the flu but insisted on Mary going and "having fun for both of them!" Which led to Mary taking an Uber from Salem Center to the mansion.

And well, she's suitably wow'd a bit, looking around with an expression that's a mixture of astonished and somewhat lost. She's currently wearing a dark red dress that's somewhat modest, though still fairly fashionable. Golden earrings shaped like lightning bolts dangle from her ears, as her hair is styled rather nicely, emphasizing her natural curls.

Jean Grey has posed:
Merry, merry!

It should come as little surprise that one Jean Grey, the Xavier's School headmistress, is in prominent attendance for the Xavier's School Christmas gala! She is dressed to the standards of the evening, in a rather rabulous red satin-finish dress with a plunging neckline. For her even a party is a working occasion, as there are always logistical details to see to. Still, one of those planning details has served to sufficiently ease the workload: sending the pre-adult students away to have their own party in another building means there is a great deal less herding of cats necessary here, and the adults are free to enjoy themselves with less general chaos.

Well, at least until they've all had a few spiked eggnogs...

All the same, there are things to do. First and foremost, she serves as she usually does in assisting Charles with such social functions. The Professor is a prominent public figure, and alongside the many friends and family counted as guests here, there are a handful of those known better in his circles, academics, politicians, diplomats -- as donors and some of the wealthier parents who have interest in the running of the school. Jean assists in helping to greet and receive them, before sending them along to Xavier in turn, making sure he's not too swamped by the company. Fortunately, this doesn't go on TOO long before she's able to slip away.

Of course she quickly locates Rogue by the beverages, after a short detour. Appearing behind her, her arrival is announced by dangling a spring of mistletoe. "Merry Christmas!"

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    Technically speaking, Olivia was not the first pick for the guest list. She is here because her costar couldn't be. As the less famous of the duo, she's the consolation prize. She's also confused, because she was told it was a school party and given no dress code. She rather stands out, though, coming in full dress for her role as the Wicked Witch Elphaba in Wicked. The valet gives her a very curious look, but is far too polite to call attention to the faux pas.

    If there is one thing that Olivia can do, though, it is feign confidence. And so she does just that, showing not the littlest bit of embarrassment.

    It isn't long before she realizes she doesn't seem to know anyone in the room. Granted, the odds of that were rather long in any case. She also notes that there are no children in sight anywhere, either. So it is that she surveys the room, seeking a conversation to join or a friendly face to approach.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde makes her way into the room. She's wearing stunning dress that is a greyer shade of lavender. Tight fitting through the waist and bosom, with lace that runs over her shoulders and to short sleeves that leave her fit arms bare. The dress is just long enough to trail elegantly behind her as she walks forward.

Walks forward, escorted by a student apparently. Kitty has her hand on the elbow of none other than Hambone. The teenaged student looks nervous, and he's wearing a suit that surely someone helped him with because it actually fits and isn't wrinkled. "You're doing fine," Kitty comments to him very quietly.

"Thanks, Miss Pryde," he says. He looks over at his friends, and flashes one of them a glare as if to threaten them should they chortle or laugh. Which of course is exactly what they do.

"Thank you for walking me down," Kitty tells him, smiling to Hambone before departing over towards the Professor and others. Hambone looks relieved and goes over to his friends, though he puffs his chest out and for once their jibes seem to fall away without scoring.

Negasonic has posed:
So, in the major Christmas spirit is one Ellie Phimister.

The Negasonic Teenage Warhead. She had totally missed... or ignored... the memo to dress up, and was currently wearing a sweater that was all black, and literally had the Punisher skull stitched in on it, and dark jeans tucked into giant boots.

And in the spirit of the season, she was texting. In a dark corner.

Super merry and bright. Although she might be kinda hovering near the spiked eggnog, for people to lose their watchfulness over it.

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
Jono enters along with Doug, similarly dressed in a tuxedo for the evening but one far more somber, for all that it's still a Jumbo Carnation special. Your typical cut and style, blacks and a dark red vest. It's the brillant white of the leather straps encircling the man's lower jaw and chest in place of a dress shirt where Carnation really stands out.

<Don' know...> Jono replies to Doug, his telepathy not nearly as closeband as it was out in the city, his words 'audible' to all in the foyer. <...tryin' to outdo me in terms of 'metal' it seems tho...>

Laura Kinney has posed:
Valets? Not a chance X-23 is letting a stranger anywhere near her vehicle. That's been concealed somewhere suitable for her to infiltrate the mansion without any fuss. Not that you'd know she has carried out a covert operation by looking at her. Hair done up with some silver rods, a black sheath dress with a scattering of sequins on it, and some modest heels. The sort it's possible to run in if you really need to.

Clearly she's taken the 'formal' as meaning black tie formal. Are the rods in her hair also sharpened for use as throwing weapons? Yes. But hey she didn't bring any other weapons... Okay she did, but those are hidden along with her ride.

For now she's something of a wall flower. Having obtained a glass of champagne that she's drinking in lieu of talking right now. Occasionally sniffing the air suspiciously. Like she expects mayhem at any moment.

So the same as usual then.

Logan Howlett has posed:
Logan had tried to miss the memo to dress up, but he'd been reminded so many times that refusing to do so would be a true insult to the Party Planning Committee of Xavier's School. So he'd gone into his closet, pulled out a garment bag that had been hanging there so long it was gathering dust, and picked out a suit.

It's James Bond-esque attire, straight from the Connery era. A white tuxedo with white button-down shirt and black tie. His hair has been tamed a little (but not much, it still rises in its two unmistakable points) and he's foregone the cigar for a glass of champagne.

After a moment, with great subtlety, he checks his watch and exhales noisily.

Evan Sabahnur has posed:
    Evan hands his keys off to the valet and heads inside. He's dressed in a rather nice tux, nodding greetings to people he recognizes. He's also here solo tonight, as his girlfriend is out of the country for a week. He doesn't take any champagne, instead heading over to the food and drink table to collect a soda to sip from as he drifts around the party.

    Being included in Jono's comments on Monet's companion, he shrugs slightly, not having the faintest idea himself as to who her rather... interesting companion might be. As he wanders past Rogue he says "Evening Rogue. Looks like you put together a really nice party." He glances around then adds, "Though it looks like the singles outweigh the couples pretty heavily."

Cinque Evers has posed:
Cinque Evers has never had a chance to venture to the Xavier School, but there has a been more than a few runaways that have got back on their feet as his shelter that have mention this place as if it was the promise land. Given such opstimic description of the place, Cinque was almost delighted to be able to leave to city for the night to see the place for himself. After stepping inside, Cinque paused at the door to take a quick glance to make sure that he was not underdress for the event, and lets out quick sigh of relief when he realizes that he is not.

He puts down an odd big bag with some hand-made presents done by the "guests" of his shelters that tell their stories and how Jamii Shelter has had a postive effect on their lives. In every setting, Cinque is always "ABDing" always looking for donations.

Rogue has posed:
The gentle clinking of glasses, and the sounds of light laughter mixed in with the strings of the small string orchestra help continue the ambience of the event tonight. Charles Xavier greets those he recognizes near the entry to the room as they file in, offering a smiling face, and little anecdotes as people pass by. Charles encourages everyone toward the offerings at the bar, or the table, as well as the dance floor where a few pairings of dancing duos are already showing their stuff, swaying to the softly played tune of 'Oh Tanenbaum'

Rogue turns to face Jean, about to say something off-the-cuff when the woman in red produces that mistletoe. It garners a grin from the Belle who places one gloved hand over her corseted stomach, while her drinking holding hand sweeps out to the left. She leans in toward Jean, and whispers something lowly to her in French, before she offers the Headmistress a warm kiss in response to the presented festive shrub!

When she pulls back from the gesture, she grins lightly before she notices Logan checking his watch. "Logan. You look dashing." She tells him, before stepping toward the table. She gathers up one of the spiked eggnog glasses, and a few steps to the right she ends up beside Ellie, offering it to her, along with a grin.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
Monet St. Croix would give a tentative smile over at Jono, and then turn over to Joshua "Ah.. This is my sisters." Sisters? The ruby-red figure goes to stay completely still, not moving at all or responding. A light nudge is given from M to their shoulder. Again no response on the matter. She would let out a sigh. "Do forgive them, they aren't used to being around people. I just thought something festive might help them." She would speak gently, even as the entity that M is refering to as her sisters (?) moves to stay completely still like a statue. Not freaked out, not quivering..
    Just simply lost in their own little world.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie has checked the truck with the valet making sure they know to park it in the garage in his spot. He walks along with his hand on Isabel's back. Sam is wearing a Tux as well, his not a new one, but a nice one that was given to him for such occasions. He resists the urge to pull at the collar, as he leads Isabel along. He looks about and seeing Doug will ask Izzy "Have you met Doug?" He motions with towards his friend as he starts to head that way.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary drifts by Olivia, then blinks a bit at the sight of Elphaba at a fancy dress party. Then she blinks again, and grins, "Wait, you're the one performing at the Gershwin aren't you? Olivia Gaudin?!?" She smiles a bit wider, "Sorry, my girlfriend and I saw the performance last week, and we both loved it. You were amazing!" She coughs a bit, "Sorry, wasn't expecting to see anyone that I'd recognize here." Her eyes glance around, as she hasn't quite spotted Ellie yet amidst the crowd.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
From behind Logan, the familiar voice of Kitty Pryde comes. "Can't leave yet. You've entered a time-space vortex. Where time begins to travel increasingly slower. And the more that you check it, the slower that it goes," she teases the Canadian.

She walks around to his side, looking around. "Wow, everyone looks so nice dressed up," she says. Kitty looks over Logan's tuxedo. "We'll have to get Illyana to take us all over to Montenegro or somewhere so you can get some baccarat in," she adds with a grin for him.

Lockheed flies over, hovering overhead in his Santa hat. He looks about and then flies back to a pile of small wrapped gifts. Retrieving one he flies back to Logan and drops it towards his hands.

Negasonic has posed:
"I ever tell you you were my favorite ****** teacher, Rogue?" says Negasonic, tucking her phone into her back pocket as she reaches out her hand for the eggnog. "If anyone asks, I got this one from the kids eggnog section," she says.

She sips, the young woman apparently not a stranger to the spiked in the spiked 'nog.

"I owe you one then," she says.

"Unless this is your clue to tell me not to text at a party or something," she says, a frown on her lips as she looks up to Rogue.

With everyone in the party, Ellie starts to drift in a vague Mary Bromfield-esque direction, drifting by Logan. "You look like you're getting ready save souls on late night Gospel TV, Logan," she says, looking past him towards Kitty for a minute, then, her eyes forward, she still moves forward, darting through the crowd.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug overhears M answering his question, and then he says, easily, "...She thinks the tree's very beautiful, and she likes the way the tinsel sparkles in the light." He drains the rest of his champagne, and then brightens up. "Sam!" He says, before he turns, and beams, grinning effusively. "...Who's this?" He turns to Izzy, all interest, and then holds out his hand. "Doug Ramsey - one of Sam's old school chums." ...Who SAYS that anymore? "This is Jono Starsmore, another school alum." He gestures to Jono. "He's adding a little class to my entrance."

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    The party has so many voices, so many sounds, and most problematic, so many heartbeats that Olivia suddenly notices. As she struggles to focus, she can hear the chatter of valets outside, hear the slamming of car doors, and eventually the hum of every light in the place.

    "I need a drink," she announces suddenly. To noone. With a bit of a stumble she makes her way towards the first drink she becomes aware of. Eggnog. This brings her near a few others, but her attention is difficult to focus, until she notices someone she recognizes. Jean. Well, recognize in the sense of 'saw someone who looked absolutely the same as her just a few hours ago'.

    She will close the distance, drawn by curiousity too powerful to resist. Her head tilts and she calls out a greeting, "Hello! I didn't expect to see you here. I have no idea how you wound up arriving ahead of me, though. How does my makeup look? You did a really good job with it, I think!" This all makes sense. Honest.

    But before she can even lock on to focus on this incredibly odd coincidence, Olivia hears her name. Someone knows her! Thank god.

    She turns her attention to Mary and smiles. "Yes, I am Olivia. It's a pleasure to meet you. And wow! Thank you so much, truly." She holds out a hand, "It's always weird, the introduction part, when you already know my name. You can call me Liv, though. My friends all do. What's your name?"

Isabel Kane has posed:
Isabel arrives with Sam, a warm smile on her lips as she enters the mansion at his side.

Her brown hair has been put up into a twist that leaves a few wisps drifting around her neck, sprigs of faux snowbells decorating the clip that holds the twist into place. Dangling snowflake earrings grace her lobes, with a matching snowflake necklace around her throat. The gown she chose is a strapless deep blue velvet scattered with glittery little points that could be stars, or snow. The gown has been paired with a silvery wrap and matching heels.

Smiling at Sam, she shakes her head, "Can't say I have, want to do the honors?"

Monet St. Croix has posed:
Monet St. Croix would let out a sigh and keep her hand over on the twins' head. "AH, thank you. I'm glad that they're enjoying themselves. Things have been far too hard.." And by her sad tone of voice would not be getting any better anytime soon, as far as she was concerned. "I'm just glad to have them here, and safe. Thank you for letting me know, Douglas." There's a look of actual appreciation from her.

Logan Howlett has posed:
Logan looks up from his watch when he hears Rogue talk. Her compliment draws raised eyebrows with an otherwise deadpan expression. When he's about to speak, he hears Kitty and glances sidelong at her. His response is a sort of half-snorting grunt, dismissive of 'looking nice'.

"Think you mean Monte Carlo, kit-kat."

Ellie's remark draws a shake of his head.

"Stay outta the egg nog, Phimister. You're prob'ly a mean drunk."

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
    As M introduces the silent red girl as her sisters, this brings a lift to Jono's brow. But it's not like that's the strangest thing he's been told since coming to Xavier's. He does, however, crouch down to get more eye-level with the silent girl(s). <Merry Christmas then, luvs.> he says to the two-in-one as Doug speaks of what the girl is enjoying, and then pushes on his knees to straighten up as Sam approaches.

Doug's turn of phrase gets a side-eye look from the bandaged Brit, followed by a roll of those eyes as he extends his hand out in greeting.

Jean Grey has posed:
After getting her requisite Christmas smooch (and whatever Rogue has to whisper to her), Jean leans back with a big smile. "Oh I needed that after dealing with all of Charles friends. And I need this too..."

It's booze time!

She had a champagne flute with her earlier, for the fancy guest greeting, but here it is set aside on the tabletop and exchanged for a mug with eggnog. Fancy is fancy, but this is the holidays and you gotta enjoy those very specific seasonal treats while you can. She ladles herself a generous cupful, vaguely looking back to follow as Rogue finds Logan and Ellie. The latter DOES get the briefest 'teacher' look from Jean, but nothing worse than that! Tis the season! And, since she's spotted him all fancy'd up, she quickly sets her next stop for the man making such a very rare appearance in formalwear.

"Oh my, doesn't he, though?" she echoes Rogue. 'Dashing' seems to be the consensus. "I've always said you clean up well, even if you absolutely hate it." And here, Ellie gets the other side of the coin: "Oh, come on, it's a party, Logan." A little corruption of the youth can slide by...

As for Olivia's odd greeting, it does make her turn and look over, perplexed. But the other woman is just as quickly distracted elsewhere, so she doesn't get to quite figure out what was happening. "Huh. Do either of you know her?" She's clearly clueless!

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie smiles and says "One of my oldest friends." He says of Doug "This is Isabel, she has been willing to put up with me for a bit." He offers and says "Turns out she has been making a few friends amongst some of our friends. She has met Nathan and Tabby so far." He offers in explanation.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary smiles warmly at Olivia, "Oh, Mary. Mary Bromfield." She takes the offered hand, "And you can call me Mary, Liv. I do, well, I'm a video game streamer. Well, mostly video games, just a bit of everything really. ContraryMary is my channel, which actually has been paying the bills, amazingly enough." she smiles cheerfully, "Though seeing that, it makes me wish I had the courage to wear one of my ugly Magic sweaters." She looks blissfully unaware of the fact that Ellie is approaching through the crowd...

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde replies to Logan, "I was thinking of Casino Royale. It was set in Montenegro. But that's a movie from after 2000. They are still making Bond movies, you know," she says. Making old jokes, her eyes twinkling over at Logan as she does.

Turning her gaze to the approaching Ellie, Kitty Pryde gives her a smile of greeting. "Hey Nega, glad you made it tonight." She gives a waves towards Negasonic as she tells Logan, "Not at all. She's got the soul of a saint in there, Logan. I bet it comes out even brighter after a few." Kitty gives Ellie a quick grin and wink of support.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue releases a melodic bit of laughter at Ellie's reaction to the drink. "I'm just here to make sure you have fun, Sugah." She tells the younger woman. "But not too much fun, ya hear? Let me know if ya want more, I'll help ya pace yourself."

With that said, Rogue wanders over to join some of the others. She catches the tail end of Olivia's greeting toward Jean, and with a grin she looks toward the Headmistress with a playful expression. "Got your makeup done somewhere else?" She asks, arching one delicately manicured eyebrow toward Jean.

She watches Lockheed fly the present over to Logan, and takes a sip of her champagne. "I hope it's better than my birthday present I got him." She dryly quips before she lets her eyes roam the room and all the pretty people gathered up, especially those swaying to the music on the dance floor in the center of the hall.

Isabel Kane has posed:
Isabel smiles at Doug as they approach, offering a hand out, then including Jonothon with the greeting, glancing towards him and aiming the smile his way as well, "Sam's mentioned you a few times, it's really great to meet you." She nods to Jonothon, "And you as well." Sam gets a teasing thwap to his arm, "Putting up with you.. make it sound like a chore."

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    "It's a pleasure, Mary. Oh, and you are a streamer! My agent keeps telling me I need to build a social media presence, but I haven't done much yet. I barely have time to tweet anything other than boring stuff like whatever I'm up to backstage." It's hard to make it look exciting for long!

    Olivia grins and asks, "What is a magical sweater, though?" Her gaze diverts to Jean. She hasn't forgotten, but she's not going to rudely disengage here, either. "Mary, you care to meet a friend?" Oh, this is going to get rich! And so much more confusing. Nothing like introducting someone whose identity you have mistaken, is there?

    But then there is a little.. what is that? "What is that?" she asks abruptly, distracted. Her mind focuses on Lockheed. But beyond her vision, she has other ways to sense things. Granted even letting them work threatens to overwhelm her with vertigo, nonetheless, knee jerk reaction sends a burst of active sonar out of her. Mary is likely to have to help her avoid stumbling and falling entirely.

Negasonic has posed:
Was that a smile that Ellie gave Rogue? Maybe a trick of the light.

"Not drunk yet, Logan," Ellie says, bringing up her hand, middle finger extended towards him. Which was awkward when Kitty was being so nice about it. So she hides that gesture away. "Yeah, I turn into a teddy bear after a couple of drinks," she says. "Why do you think Rogue is giving me a couple?" she says to Kitty.

And as she wanders, she was drawing nearer to Mary.

"Oh, ****, Bromfield," she says. "When did you get here? You joining the manor?" she says.

Monet St. Croix has posed:
A weak smile is given from Monet over to Jono - the algerian woman is rather out of her element here. Not with being subtle in her presence, but also that of trying to play caretaker for her sisters. Her hand goes to rest on their shoulder, joining them while they would look at the tree that had entranced them.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary says, "Oh, it's a... whoops! Here." She moves with surprising speed, catching Olivia and helping support her, "It's... a. Wait. A /dragon/?" She grins, "That is the coolest thing I think I've ever seen." She looks positively charmed by the appearance of Lockheed wearing a santa hat, forgetting about the question about the Magic sweater.

And then Ellie shows up, and she grins brightly, "Ellie! I've told you to call me Mary." She shakes her head, "Nah, not joining the manor, but Marie-Ange has the flu so she couldn't make it. I'm solo'ing this party, but it's nice to see a familiar face." Then she turns to look at Jean, since Olivia was about to introduce them...

And is promptly struck speechless by the redhead.

Evan Sabahnur has posed:
    Evan mingles, taking the occasional sip from his soda. Eventually he's greeted about everyone he knows and several people he doesn't, then finds himself a place where he can keep an eye on the room. Monet's sisters get the occasional glace, but he's far too polite to ask the questions that comes to mind. Besides, Eabha Aine is two people in one body, so he's not even fazed by the concept of referring to a single being as multiple people.

    The appearance is what's got him glancing her way now and again, but even there, he's been working in Bushwick for a while now, and not every mutant is lucky in the way they look. They might be a little more unusual than most, however.

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean continues enjoying her beverage and the company of those closest to her. But the party is a busy affair, and it seems there is yet more for her to attend to. Somewhere in the midst of the conversation, there is the slightest pause, and those that know her best may recognize the brief far-away look that suggests the woman's thoughts are elsewhere... in a more literal sense than for most.

"They're here," she murmurs, to those nearest by, before excusing herself. "I'm going to see to our guests."

The timing for this departure seems impeccable, as Jean soon makes her way back toward the foyer, where three new guests are arriving. A tall, dark-haired woman in a long, draping gown, purple with a metallic sheen, makes her way across the floor, flanked by two men in suits. All three of them are somewhat lanky in build, and noteworthy for quite luxurious updo hairstyles, the men included. The woman's is embellshed with a complex, sparkling tiara. They're an odd bunch, though perhaps not all that odd by the measure of the evening's standards. Some of the X-Men will recognize them, but to most, they are just more colorful guests at a colorful party.

In any event, Jean meets them, greents the woman quietly, before seeing them into the event hall, carefully winding their way through the crowds to find Charles. When the pair meet, the woman takes both his hands in hers, leans forward, and gives him a kiss. Well! "I understand she is with the other youngsters - ah, yes."

Jean, naturally enough, has split away before the pair get to smooching, just like the mysterious woman's escorts. So she's back on the sidelines, and even briefly alone for anyone to bother, and finds herself looking over toward Mary and Olivia, although it seems Lockheed gets to meet them first!

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug gets a sly little smirk at Jono's response to his being deliberately old-fashioned. "Well, the pleasure's all mine. I've literally been to hell and back with Sam. And Beto da Costa and I are actively trying to beat each other to the Christmas care package from his mother to steal the apple brown betty out of it." Doug says, before he claps Sam on the shoulder, and then says, "I'm going to go make the rounds, and hopefully run into a tray of gingerbread cookies, and see if I can get in line to say hi to Kitty. M, save me a dance later. Jono, is there anything you need or are you good?"

He studies Penance, and then leans down briefly, as if listening to something. "...They are really good." He says, "If you don't want to leave your sister, I'll bring you one for each of you." He straightens up. "I'll be back in a bit."

Monet St. Croix has posed:
The arrival of Lilandra gets a quick look of surprise from Monet. She gives a quick glance about to see if the child that originally came here in the form of an egg is around. Going to quickly glance about and then bow her head over to the reigning Empress. Going to fold her hands over behind her back and smile over at Douglas.

"Thank you. That.. Means a lot to me." Even as she manages to avoid chastizing herself for not being able to read them herself.

Logan Howlett has posed:
"Ah," Logan murmurs, thougyh he's not clear what or who it is in response to. He finishes off the half-a-drink still in his hand and deposits the glass on the nearest flat surface. His hands free, he moves to slide them into his pockets only to find out that a fancy tuxedo has them sewn shut. He grunts in displeasure and moves towards the window, looking out at the snow-strewn landscape beyond.

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
    Handshakes all around in the little corner of the foyer with Sam and Isabel and Doug and Jono. He gives a shake of his head to Doug, a wry <...sure, mate, a glass of scotch...> in reply as the man steps away. <...pleasure t'meet'cha both...> he says to Sam & Isabel before he detaches himself from the grouping, giving M a quiet nod in return as the telepath with the ruined face moves to mingle, glancing towards the gathering of the special arrival at the front entrance with passing interest and absolutely no recognition.

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    Olivia will tolerate no more distractions! Even adorable dragons. And mysterious guests. She thanks Mary for keeping her on her feet, and then sets to the introductions. Forgive her for her completely ridiculous confusion!

    "I'm so sorry, Mary, but this is a woman I just met today, whom I told about the party, and said nothing about attending." She hesitates. It really makes no sense, but there's no mistaking it. Especially in that dress. "Mary, this is Maddie. Maddie, this is my new friend Mary."

    And there it is, impossible to take back! It's not her fault, though, that she just happened to meet someone's twin/clone/copy/whatever today at work.

    "She's amazing with makeup. Got my look down perfectly on the first try. And never at all mentioned she would be here tonight. Which is.. why didn't you mention that?"

Isabel Kane has posed:
Isabel laughs lightly at Doug's response and gives a nod, "I'll make a note of that, if I'm very good and Sam hasn't gotten sick of me by next CHristmas, maybe I can ask for a piece in the care package." She nods again to Jonothon, then pauses. Straightening, her head turns sharply to note the entry of the three guests, a small smile gracing her lips before she looks back to Sam as the others depart for foodier/boozier pastures. "Would you like to meet someone special, Sam?" She nudges him gently with an elbow and nods towards the trio of elegantly dressed newcomers with the FABULOUS hair.

Jean is also spotted, in that eyecatching red dress, a small wave offered along with a smile towards her before she glances back to Sam for his response.

Rogue has posed:
When Jean escorts the latest arrivals in to the event hall, Charles is all smiles. He approaches them, shares in some quiet words before the inevitable polite smoochings do take place. With a few more soft spoken exchanges had, Charles leads the new group toward the large stone fireplace at the head of the hall.

The soft strains of the orchestra dim as Charles Xavier, standing with a quiet dignity, raises his glass in a gesture to gather the attention of the room. The flickering flames in the grand fireplace dance in rhythm with the anticipation in the room. A warm smile graces the Professor's features as he begins to speak, his voice carrying a gentle authority.

"Ladies and gentlemen, friends and family," Charles begins, his gaze sweeping across the gathered crowd. "As we stand on the cusp of a new year, let us reflect on the journey we've taken together, the challenges we've faced, and the triumphs we've celebrated. The bonds we share here at Xaviers School are not just those of colleagues or students; they are the ties of a unique family, united by a common purpose and the spirit of understanding."

He takes a thoughtful sip from his glass, allowing a moment for his words to resonate. "In the face of adversity, we have found strength in unity. Tonight, as we celebrate the holiday season, let it serve as a reminder that our collective power lies not just in our extraordinary abilities but in the compassion, empathy, and hope we extend to one another. May the coming year bring new opportunities for growth, understanding, and joy."

The room is hushed, the flicker of the fire the only audible sound as Charles concludes, "Here's to the promise of a brighter future, to the endless possibilities that unfold when we stand together. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and a prosperous New Year to each and every one of you."

With a gracious nod, Charles Xavier raises his glass, inviting others to join in a collective toast. "enjoy the party." Charles then adds.

Rogue raises her glass up in time with the toast, and downs another sip of it along with the rest of the room. When she lowers it, she glances toward Jean, reaching out to give her arm a gentle squeeze. "Better find out who that is." She quietly states before she wanders over toward Logan to shoulder bump him. "You worried we're gonna make you shovel all that?" She asks in her Mississippi Belle accent, grinning as she glances out at the snow covered lawn as well.

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde grabs a drink for herself, a glass of red wine, when Logan goes off to admire the landscaping job that he's done. Though it's under about two feet of snow tonight, courtesy of a certain African weather goddess.

Turning back, Kitty sees a familiar face approaching her. She breaks out in a grin and hurries the last few steps between herself and Doug Ramsey. She's careful with her wineglass not to spill it on him as she otherwise throws her arms around Doug and gives him the kind of huge hug that happens between friends who haven't seen each other in a bit.

"Merry Christmas, Doug," Kitty says joyfully, leaning back enough to flash her smile at him. "You'd better save me some dances tonight. All dressed up and studly looking, going to need you to spin me about the dance floor," she says warmly.

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie will grab him and Izzy a glass so they couple can join with the toast. He leans in to whisper "He aint realized ma, sent more since a few of us here now." He is quiet during the speech and nods as he listens to Izzy. His brow raises at her introducing him to someone but says "Sure."

Cinque Evers has posed:
Cinque Evers stands in a corner and spends a few minutes contemplating the different people that are at the event. After realizing that he is about to sprout roots if he stands against this corner any longer, he decides to grab some snacks and a drink. On his way to grab those items, he passes Logan and takes a moment to look at the window. "How bad is the snow getting out there?"

Cinque pauses for a moment before he saying, "Sorry, I hope I wasn't bothering you from your snow gazing." Cinque closes one eye as he shakes his own head slightly in frustration and thinks to himself, -- (Idiot, other people don't call it snow-gazing?)-- Lucky for Cinque's Charles's speech gives him an excuse to quickly reset the conversation, Cinque claps softly and turns back to Logan, "That was a nice speech."

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug embraces Kitty warmly; when he pulls back he beams and says, "Chag sameach, Kitty!" He clears his throat, and says, "Oh, I'm in it all night. I was DEBATING spending Christmas here, though I might just spend it out on the lake, fishing--" He watches the tray of gingerbread cookies go by, and he says, "Ah, hey-" He gestures to the server, "Make sure two of those find their way to the girl who looks like she's made of rubies - one for each hand!"

"I don't think I've seen this place this lively in... years. I started working for Warren, by the way; I've already got my workload so automated that I've reduced a sixty-hour workweek down to about twenty... don't tell Warren that, though. He might find something else for me to do."

Isabel Kane has posed:
Smiling thanks at Sam for the glass, Izzy raises hers to join in the toast, smiling over the speech offered before taking a sip of the champagne. Leaning in towards Sam as he whispers, she laughs softly and glances up at him with a murmured, "Save a bite for me?" Then she's tucking her hand into the crook of his elbow to guide him towards the trio of guests.

Approaching the trio, Isabel offers a respectful and deferential nod towards the trio, though her address is clearly meant for the woman. "Majestrix.. it's wonderful to see you here. Have you met Sam Guthrie yet? He was kind enough to be my escort tonight." She turns a smile towards Sam, then back to woman between the two lanky men.

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
Plucking a glass off the tray of a passing server as Charles makes his speech, Jono at least has a glass to raise to join in the toast, even if he cannot enjoy it. So back it goes onto another tray as the Brit moves through the room, giving nods to people he barely recognizes and nods to those he barely knows. Doing his best to mingle.

Jean Grey has posed:
Having delivered the fancy definitely not aliens, Jean is free to relax a moment, and wait on the sidelines as Xavier delivers his speech. It's a holiday tradition at the school, the mansion, a reaffirmation of their large, strange, cobbled-together found family. Of course, Jean is all smiles for it. She's a sucker for schmaltzy stuff!

Lilandra stands, statuesque, as the speech is delivered. Human culture is distant and foreign, but she recognizes the importance of the moment. Whether the whim of K'ythri and Sharra, or merely some twist of circumstance or fate, these people are now her family as well.

On the less grandiose scale of things, Jean finally is free to confront the odd set of circumstances that have led Olivia to her mistake. She turns over as the woman starts introducing herself, ready with a smile to reply, until, well, the introduction continues to the point of introducing HER as well, to Mary.


"Ohhhhhh." It all makes sense. "Actually, miss, it's Jean. But it's nice to meet you, the both of you. You must have met Madelyne somewhere, she's, ah, well a..." What's the best way to explain it without discussing the WEIRD stuff? "...relative of mine. I know, I know, people do really say we look alike. This kind of mix-up happens all too often." She smiles sheepishly. What else can one say?

In the mean time, Xavier has finished, and Jeanturns to hoist her nog-mug back toward Charles. Someone has beem kind enough to get Lilandra a champagne, so, after observing everyone in the gesture, she copies it as well. "Ah, Guardsw- Miss Kane, isn't it?" She turns toward Isabel as she arrives. "I have been informed by our host that the titles may be conspicuous. But I am gladdened for the opportunity, afforded by the recent... pause," she doesn't add 'in the civil war,' "...to travel here and visit with my family. This young man is your paramour?"

Negasonic has posed:
And out comes Ellie's phone again, nodding her head towards Mary and her friend, Olivia, her eyes darting between the two, and tracking the gaze towards Jean Grey.

A curl of her brow, and a small sound comes at the back of her throat.

With another sip of the nog, she drifts towards a different corner of the room, to post up in the corner, sliding her thumb across the screen, cheeks slightly flushed with the drink.

A pause more, does she bring up her phone and take a picture of the room at large? Yes. Yes she is.

Evan Sabahnur has posed:
    Evan nods in agreement with the Professor's speech, then raises his glass in a toast when it is appropriate. Charles' word strike home with the young man who's been putting in a lot of time at Hope House in Bushwick. He knows all too well how many mutants aren't lucky enough to have an extended family like the one here at the school.

    But tonight is for celebration, so he pushes those thoughts to the back of his mind and looks around to see if he can find someone who looks like they need to engage in a little celebration.

    Except Ellie. He knows better than that.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary manages to reboot between Lilandra arriving and Charles' speech, enough to recover a bit as Jean explains the bit of a mix-up in identity, "Oh, well, Jean then. It's nice to meet you. I'm ContraryM... er, just Mary." She smiles a little, then glances back at Olivia, "So Maddie is a really good makeup artist, huh? I might actually talk to her about that, for some streaming. I have a few ideas, OH!" She blinks as an idea hits her, "Well, if your agent is wanting you to try streaming and things, did you want to guest on my stream? I have a pretty wide audience."

She then turns to say something to Ellie, but... wait, where'd she go? "Liv, I'm gonna go find Ellie quick, I'll be right back." She looks around the room, then she slips over to find Ellie in the corner. "Hey."

Apparently she doesn't know better than that.

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    The first matter of busines is to listen to the speech. The second... to be embarrassed to her very core. Olivia darn near multitasks this kind of thing! She has to offer up an apology that is incredibly confused.

    "Oh my, I'm.. oh I'm sorry, Jean. I'm Liv. And I think I'll just go find a rock to crawl under..." And maybe curl up and die for a bit while she's at it.

    The speech's end does draw a raising of her glass, but her mind is not on it. She's ashamed to say that she only remembers the vaguest of good things said in her moment of complete failure.

    She directs her attention to Mary and says, "She is. was.. I'm sorry. And yes, definitely stay in touch." With a flick of her wrist, she produces her business card. The real one, with real numbers on it. "I think... I'll just go sit down a bit, anyway, so have fun! I hope you have a great evening!" There is a bar. That means there are barstools. It's a good place for a Wicked Witch to throw herself down and, well, not hide exactly. That's kind of impossible. But at least avoid drawing even more negative attention to herself!

Kitty Pryde has posed:
Kitty Pryde's eyes widen and her brows go up in happy excitement. "You did? Oh that's wonderful! I never did try to work there as I just figured I didn't want to create that kind of situation. Though I'd have loved to get a deeper peek under the hood at things. I mean not that Warren wouldn't let me poke around, or even, help out when a thing might come up. That's awesome. You know we're going to be getting together for Christmas. You should come over," Kitty says.

She doesn't herself celebrate the religious aspects of course, but enjoys giving gifts to people she cares about on their holiday, of course.

"We're going to go skiing at Whistler after," she adds to Doug. "I've been wanting to see that place. The pictures of it are gorgeous." She takes a sip of her wine, glancing around briefly and then back to Doug. "And mums the word," she adds with a warm laugh. "God it's so good to see you. Feels like it's been months," Kitty says, moving back to hug her old friend tightly.

Negasonic has posed:
That speech was maybe what Ellie was taking a picture of, the woman's phone constantly buzzing as she gets multiple notifications, the woman going blissfully unbothered by most at this point.

"'sup, ContraryMary?" says Ellie, apparently more in social media mode now that the woman was drawing by. "Or BaristaCats, sometimes. What's up with that first one, anyways?" she asks, her eyes not looking up from her phone. She opens her mouth as if to say something mean, but in a bout of niceness, decides to snap her lips shut.

"Yeah. That dress is fire," she says, but who was she talking about. Jean? Mary? Maybe for someone else to decide.

There was getting to be too much holiday togetherness and spirit here.

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
    A waiter arrives by M's side with a tray of the snacks, as directed by Douglas, looks from the tall Algerian to the crouched crystalline figure. "For the lady?" he asks, uncertainly, as he looks between the two. Jono taps the man on the back and takes the tray, <...wotcher there, guv, I'll take it...> he says, sending the man on his way before plucking one of the treats off the tray and slowly extending it towards the girl, standing up between first and middle finger.

<...you say this is your sisters, as in more than one...> Jono turns his telepathy towards M as he holds his hand out, stone still, towards the girl. <...jus' `ow does that work?>

Isabel Kane has posed:
Nodding, Isabel murmurs, "Of course. Is there a preferred form of address you would like to adopt for the evening?" Then the question comes and she glances at Sam, debating if there's a better term, before looking back to Lilandra with a smile, "We're.. yes. He is my paramour." Because there are social differences in romantic relationships, and not all the terms are compatible!

Taking a sip from her champagne, she glances around before looking to Lilandra and asking quietly, "How is Kallark's recovery progressing?" It isn't *technically* work talk, she's asking after his health!

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary smiles, "Honestly, the first one was just what my foster parents called me when I first showed up. I was their first, so they just thought I was a little Contrary Mary. You know, Mary Mary quite contrary and all that. So I just kept it when I started streaming." She smiles, "Though, yeah, that dress is fire and life incarnate, for sure. I admit I wasn't quite expecting /that/." She pauses, "How've you been, Ellie?" And she does sound genuinely concerned.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"That's because it has been." Doug says, returning the embrace. "Welcome to adulthood." He straightens up, and then says, "Just a second." He kibbitzes through the crowd back to Jono. He sidles up to him, and then he gently elbows him in the ribs.

"Hey." He says, as he sips a glass of punch he picked up in the confusion, "You look a little lost. For what it's worth, I'm glad you came with me. Making new friends is one of life's great pleasures. Especially when they have great taste in vinyl records."

Logan Howlett has posed:
Logan seems, for the moment, to be looking more at his own reflection in the glass than the snow beyond it. When Cinque speaks, he doesn't start or move immediately. He picks up on their approach, apparently. Hard to sneak up on him even unintentionally.

"Ain't great," he answers, lifting a hand to rub his freshly-shaven chin and frowning at the lack of stubble that he's used to, "Wouldn't wanna be out drivin' in it in the dark. Lucky it's a big ol' house full of rooms. Got plenty of people stayin' here. Even ones who could probably afford their own damn place."

He shrugs, shaking his head almost apologetically before turning to listen to Charles speak. He goes to raise his glass in a toast, realises he doesn't have one, and mutters something crude under his breath.

Rogue has posed:
Outside, the gentle snowfall is light, and the Christmas lights adorning the hedges and trees allow each flake to more easily be seen, giving a great sense of perfection for this Holiday seasonal event.

Inside, the room buzzes with cheerful chatter and laughter as people gather in small groups, sipping on festive drinks and sharing anecdotes. The dance floor is alive with movement, couples swaying to the rhythm of classic holiday tunes. A mix of colorful decorations adorns the space, complemented by the warm glow of twinkling lights. The aroma of holiday treats from the buffet mingles with the subtle scent of evergreen.

Charles' speech had ended, and he was now enjoying the company of his personal guests for the evening.

Jean Grey has posed:
Despite the mix up, it doesn't seem to bother Jean. In fact, she's quite emphatic in relieving Olivia of any culpability or guilt in the error. "Oh, don't be! I'm from a huge family, so believe me, I'm used to this kind of thing." It's convenient that this true in both the mundane sense - she has four siblings and numerous in-laws, nieces and nephews - and ALSO in the 'time travel semi-children and clones' sense! So it's not even something she really needs to lie about, even if she may be ommitting a detail or two.

"It's nice to meet the both of you. You have friends at the school, I take it?" she wonders, before hearing Marry mention Ellie, which seems to answer that question for her. "Well, I hope you both enjoy the party. Seems like we have a great turnout, this year. Make yourself at home, grab a bite, watch out for the dragon..."

Why go to such fuss to hide the aliens when you have a dragon? OH WELL.

Elsewhere, Lilandra continues in her even tone. "Perhaps it is easier simply to avoid them," she observes. There's really no easy way around it. Even 'Miss Neramani' would be nearly as conspicuous... All the same, she seems to find Isabel's answer acceptable. "Considering your recent elevation, he shall no doubt have much to prove, to be worthy of the honor." And at this, she shifts her gaze toward Sam, stating quite regally: "Do not fail her. She may be of your people, but we have accepted her into our highest ranks, and she must be honored as such."

... fun people!

Negasonic has posed:
Of all the things to catch Ellie's attention, it was probably the concern in Mary's voice that gets her to look up.

With one of her own concerned looks, which might actually be frightening. Brow knitted, resting bitch face on full display. "I've been fine," she says. "Makin' friends," she uses that last term loosely.

Why she wasn't kicked out of the mansion yet was anyone's guess. "Saving the world. You know. The norm," she says.

"Did a roller derby in Gotham. That was badass," she says.

"Although seriously... "How's the super life for you?" she says.

"It's been forever and a day since we talked."

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary nods, "Yeah, not since the housewarming party at Marie and I's flat." She smiles a bit, "Been pretty good... actually, changed things up a little bit. New sponsorship, that's a little less chauvanistic and a bit more *me*. So that's pretty suitable for me." She nods, "Glad to see you've been sticking it out, though. Marie will be glad to hear it."

Though she does perk up at the mention of "Roller derby? Wow, I've always wanted to try that. Was it fun?" Wait, this girl in a roller derby?!?

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    The grace Jean offers is kind, but it isn't really in Liv's nature to forgive herself. Perfection is what she has to deliver night after night. The world is a stage. All of that kind of unhealthy nonsense that she's made a career out of believing.

    "I don't think so," says Olivia. Then she notices out of the corner of her eye. "Oh. I know her! I mean... that's Ms. Pryde, right? And not someone's cousin?"

    At this point, she won't assume anything at all.

    "The party invitation was for the theatre company, and it was meant to be my costar, Rachel, tonight, but she had plans, and so here I am, the fortunate one who is delighted with the company of so many good people." A pause as she thinks. "And one flying... dragon? Apparently."

    She sighs softly and shakes it off. "I should probably let you attend to your other guests, though. You have the appearance of a very busy woman." Thank goodness she said that slowly. A "t" almost slipped into that word. Freud be damned if Liv will make that kind of mistake!

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
    As both M and her sister(s) sit in silent enchantment of the Christmas tree, Jono simply shrugs and continues to hold the cookie out, even as Doug slides up and elbows his side that arm remains still. <Not like I could have jus' `id in my room...> he points out <...since I'd `ave to come through th'foyer anyway to get there...> he says, although the tone is drying amused. <Do appreciate you puttin' in a word f'me with that Jumbo Carnation bloke. Never thought someone's mutant power would be fashion...>

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie nods his head to this, not looking into the woman's eyes, looking more at her moth. He has read enough fantasy and lived an odd enough life, he tries to show respect and not challenging. He says "Ah plan to treat her like a lady deserves to be treated, and Ah would do my best by her no matter that status she holds." He explains to the woman.

Negasonic has posed:
"Yeah, I'm in a team. We even have a Hulk, too," Ellie says to Mary.

She will never stop annoying Ivy with that.

"It was kinda fun. I was going against these girls, but now I'm on the same team, so I'm still figuring out if I'm doing a villain arc or whatever," she says.

"Yeah, could come over sometime, we can talk shop, if you'd like," she says, lifting her chin. "There's ways to boost your viewer count that are only *slightly* shady, if you're wanting to go on the dark side, young Ahsoka," she says to her.

She was using nerd talk. This was... definitely not the real Ellie.

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is at the bar at this point, exchanging champagne for a glass of whiskey laced eggnog. "Moonshine?" She questions the bartender who is chatting her up. He nods at the Southern Belle, indicating that that's what they call it anyway. "Well, I guess I just end up with the drink'a my people, even if it wasn't my intention..." She responds, before downing a sampling sip from the glass filled with large cubes of ice. It takes her about a second before her smoky lined eyes widen, and she shoots a look back at the bartender. "Oh sweet Christmas, this is good..." She tells him, which garners another bout of laughs from the working man.

The dance floor continues to shine as those brave enough to pair off, and strut their stuff, showcase their elegant attire under the lights of the crystal chandeliers that hang from above.

Those looking outside might see something somewhat unexpected, as a sleigh glides across the snowy yard, pulled by four horses, and illuminated by their own hanging Christmas lights. The sleigh itself holding several passengers that seem to be enjoying the outdoor activities on offering tonight at the school's gala event.

Light snowfall adds to the outdoor ambience through the large event hall windows.

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
"Well, he says his mutant power is super-fabulousness." Doug says, "But in practice it does shake out to finding the right outfit for the right person to flatter whatever event they're going to that day. Fashion as statement, clothing as language." Doug pats Jono on the shoulder lightly. "Just saying - Merry Christmas." He finishes the last of his punch. He smirks. "But I do admit, something about a party like this makes you think of the faces you don't see in the crowd."

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary grins, "Well, I'll keep that in mind, Ellie. I'm going to get a drink at the bar. If you wanted to come along, anyway. But you should definitely come over, Marie would love to see you." She gestures, then starts going towards the bar, moving back over to sit next to Olivia. And not too far from Rogue, as it turns out.

She then gives Olivia a wry look, "You look like my brother after he stuck his foot in his mouth, Liv. It was an innocent mistake, and according to her, easy enough to make." She then looks up at the dragon, and waves at them cheerfully.

Cinque Evers has posed:
For the briefest of moments, Cinque's eyes widen slightly as he scrutinize each snowflake fall outside. Cinque's accelerated perception causes each snowflake to be witness as a bewildering icy masterpiece as it falls to the ground. With slight frustation, Cinque cast his gaze away from the window to speak back with Logan, "Yeah, I made the mistake, and thought I could catch an Uber to the train." Cinque peers around the room for a moment as he continues talking to Logan, "I probably need to find someone to see if I can get one of those rooms for the night."

Cinque turns back to Logan, but occasionaly tries to look to see where that platter of gingerbread cookies is at in the room. "Oh, sorry, I am Cinque Evers. I run and operate Jamii Shelter."

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    Left to her own devices for a moment, Liv turns her attention to the bartender. He seems nice enough.

    "What'll you be having?" comes his query.

    "Got anything for regret with a side of humiliation?" she replies.

    "I think I know just the thing."

    "Better make it a double."

    Liv isn't much of a drinker, soe she isn't sure exactly what she's been given, but in the moment, it doesn't matter much. It tastes good, though. In the way that very dangerous drinks sometimes do. The kind that sneak up on you the second you try to stand up. She pulls out her phone and busies herself sending off a text message or two. Not that she's not looking around. She is. The whole vertigo problem isn't quite so bad when she's perched on a barstool, so she can start to see the room in her own unique way. It's actually rather fascinating.

    She comes out of her funk when Mary talks to her. "Oh, right. Yes, well, some mistakes a person can make and work through, and others... they take more time and -I understand- a different kind of treatment." And she raises her glass, taking a drink that is a touch longer than it should probably be. Not that she's got much of a clue what she's doing. But she is very good at acting experienced!

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
<Credit to the bloke that `ad a mile of white leather ready to go...> Jono says, gesturing to the "dress shirt" Carnation made for his tux, wrapped around his face. Of course, he dresses Emma Frost, so no wonder he buys white leather in bulk. He still stands with that one arm stock still, offering the cookie to the silent and stoic Penance.

<Merry Christmas, Doug.> Jono replies congenially enough, even if he doesn't know what faces Doug is referring to.

Logan Howlett has posed:
"Logan," comes the Canuck's answer to Cinque, reaching out to shake a hand whether one was offered or not. No last name forthcoming.

"Shelter, huh? Don't know it specifically, but that's good work, I guess. You hit Chuck up for a donation yet? Fella lives to give. Bet he'd happily buy a wing ... or a thigh ... whole damn bird if you let him."

"If you don't find anyone, just crash on the couch. Or under the tree. Or in the hedges. That's what I'm plannin' on."

Jean Grey has posed:
"Hmm? Oh yes, that's Kitty, no mistaking her. And you know Rachel too?" While Jean makes note of this fact as interesting, she makes no attempt to explain why. That one is even weirder than Madelyne! "Well, we're happy to have you, and it sounds like you're fitting right on in."

Also, the thing about Freudian almost-slips in Jean's vicinity is that she's a powerful telepath. BUT she's also powerfully POLITE telepath. So most people never know even half how embarassed they really SHOULD be around her! Fun times.

Free of anything else, Jean circulates a bit. There's almost always something to do in a party of this size, to keep things running smoothly. Guests to check in on. Student waitstaff (they pay them!) to make sure are on time with refreshing the refreshments. An occasional check-in to make sure no one is starting an intergalactic incident with the visiting alien royalty. All in a night's work...

Speaking of: though Sam's manner is a bit (OK, a lot) less lofty than the alien Empress, he is certainly no less confident, and this causes the woman's already rather impressive eyebrows to arch slightly. "I have no doubt."

Finished with his own speech, Charles soon ambles back to Lilandra's side. "As well you shouldn't, if anything, he's being modest. This young man in particular has a tremendous amount of heart. Among other qualities. If you knew him as well as I did, you would no doubt be encouraging Miss Kane to try and recruit him away from us." Lilandra turns to him, and there's a moment of meaningful silence between them.


Isabel Kane has posed:
Isabel smiles up at Sam, then turns towards Lilandra and chuckles softly, "The Professor is correct. Sam possesses every quality you would seek, in abundance. He is more than worthy." She flicks a glance towards CHarles, then back to Lilandra, chuckling, "And he would make an excellent addition, if he were so inclined." She'll give a gentle tug to Sam's elbow, "But now, I think we should leave you to your evening. It is wonderful to see you here." A respectful nod to Charles and she starts to lead Sam away.

"Okay, lets meet more of your friends next.. much less awkward." Izzy flashes a grin at Sam and winks.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary grins, "Prepare for trouble, and make it double. Applies to Pokemon as well as getting drinks." She looks at the bartender, and says, "What she's having. If you can't trust a witches' brew, what /can/ you trust?" She flashes a smile over at Olivia, "Though, if you do want to pop onto the stream, are there any games you'd prefer?" She chuckles, "Would want you to be as comfortable as possible, after all."

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie nods to the lady with a ma'am." He does blush a bit at the words of the professor and Isabel. He turns to the professor and says "And a Merry Christmas to you sir, and ma'am." He lets Isabel lead him away and nods to her "Ok, well, we can head to the bar, or go met the girl with the dragon."

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    Olivia focuses her attention on Mary. She's not drunk. Not yet, anyway. Give her a few minutes.

    "I don't actually play any games, so I'd have to just dive intto whatever you suggest. My niece is too young to do much, and about the only thing I generally make time for is work, practice, family, and well, more work, I suppose."

    Liv pauses, dipping her fingertip into the drink and stirring it. She pulls it out with a laugh as the move starts to turn the liquid green.

    "Mary, I've had a hell of a week. You know?" There is a rant coming on.

    "Some psycho in Gotham tried to brand my face after he belted me. Then a hero charges in, things get crazy... and I eventually get out with a concussion." She frowns. The rant continues. "And then I run into more trouble in Manhattan! All this weird stuff starts happening. They tell me it's my imagination. Or a hallucination. Then I'm just minding my own business, walking on the street, and there's an accident. And I'm apparently so jittery, I just pass out. And somehow that gets me concussion two."

    She takes a drink, and continues forward. She needs to get it off her chest. "So they tell me take a few days off. You shouldn't be working for at least a few weeks. Right. So I ignore that, and then last night, I'm delivering my best performance ever. We're all on our game and there's this energy, you know? You know when everyone around you is just amazing and that makes you amazing? Well that's what it was. Then that whole thing in the news. Guns, some idiot screaming about mutants, and just.. oh, and the coolest hero I've ever seen showed up. She was crazy. She jumped from the balcony to the floor. And there were knives and she was like... I don't know. Some kind of punk rock ninja?"

    Olivia doesn't seemm to even pause to take a breath through all of that. Finally, to Mary.

    "What's your life been like these past two weeks. Normal?"

Isabel Kane has posed:
Smiling at Sam, she gives a nod, "Bar first, I think. Let's get fortified, then we can circle round to everyone? Though.. I gotta admit to being curious about the bitty dragon. It's adorable." Still, Isabel could use something a little more bracing than champagne, and there's a bar.. so.. barwards they go!

Douglas Ramsey has posed:
Doug takes another glass of champagne, and lets it catch the light. "Past three O'Clock, and a cold frosty morning;" He tips it back, and then says, "Now for my other favorite part of Christmas. Come with!" He gestures toward the door. "This is the part where we wait for Sam to go outside and pelt him with snowballs from ambush. If you can knock his hat off, you're the Christmas Champion."

Jean Grey has posed:
Once they're left alone, Charles and Lilandra enjoy a few moments of silence and privacy, enhanced by the fact that they can carry out whatever heartfelt exchanges in total silence. Eventually, he leads her to a window, and they spend a moment gazing out through it on the dark, snow-covered, festively-lit lawn of the school. Do they get this kind of weather on Chandilar?

Even if they do, they probably don't have sleigh rides! Even the alien Empress seems a little fascinated when that thing goes sliding on by.

Jean, being free of her responsibilities again, returns to find Rogue at the bar. "I'll have what she's having," she declares, very much in the bold and saucy cadence of a movie character. This might actually be a poor idea, however, since she's nowhere near as hard a drinker as the Southern Belle! Whiskey and moonshine? Oh dear! "Surving the party? I think we're mostly clear on the special guests. Though we're going to wait until the crowd thins out a bit, for those two to open some presents with the family."

Jean leans her back on the bar, taking a bit of weight off. "Oh. And I've only been mistaken for my clone once. So not too bad, considering."

Jonothon Starsmore has posed:
    There's that light sense of a chuckle from Jono, who places the christmas cookie back on the tray as Monet leads her sister(s) out of the crowded foyer. <Well...> the young telepath says as he passes the tray off to one of the servers rotating around the room <...not like I've got much else t'do. May as well join in time `onored traditions and all...>

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary nearly chokes on her drink at the question about her life being normal. Then she chuckles, "Oh, Liv... you have no idea. I don't think I've had a normal day since I started living in New York instead of Philly." She grins, eyes dancing with amusement as she listens. Then she offers the other woman a hand, "Does it make you feel any better to know that I know exactly what you mean about that, though?"

Cinque Evers has posed:
A soft laugh escapes about Charles buying the whole damn bird. "I plan to try to hit him up before the end of the night, or at the very least ask him to visit the shelter." Cinque looks at the couch, "I will probably settle on a couch. I can sleep outside anywhere in a city, but this area is bit too nature for my taste." Finally spots the gingerbread cookies platter, Cinque steps away from Logan, "If you ever in the city, you should stop in. I am normally around, if not my staff is always welcoming."

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is at a corner of the bar, her eyes also gazing out one of the large windows to watch the sleigh glide by under the power of the festiv dressed horses. She glances over to others arriving at the bar, showing Mary a smile when they make eye contact, along with a wave of one white gloved hand.

When Jean appears, and gives that sultry movie-starlet request to the bartender, the Belle averts her green eyed gaze to the equally greens of Jean's eyes. She laughs lightly, before waggling her dark eyebrows. Her eyes bounce down to her drink, then back up to Jean. "It's some kinda sugahry whiskey nog. I... I might just pour it on my cereal or pancakes come mornin'." She says playfully before taking another sip of said glass, finishing it off and placing it on the bar where the tender sets Jean's order down, then moves to fill Rogue's up without her even having to ask for it.

"We got a ice skatin' contest to make sure happens... Maybe New Years? Turn it in to a New Years lake party?" She inquires, before her eyes go toward Charles, and his new little family. "I'm glad they made it for this. Probably weird as Hell for them to see us puttin' lights and colorful socks on everything, but hey, holidays are strange in-general."

Rogue's refill is set down beside her, and with a French-delivered response to the bartender,. Rogue wraps her opera gloved hand around the base of the glass, and raises it up to her smoky red lips for another tasting sip.

Dancers continue to twirl on the dance floor to the live string music playing from the corner beside the Christmas tree, as new trays of cookiees and treats are ushered around the event hall for all guests wishing for a sugar treat.

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    There's an audible thud as Olivia sets her forehead on the bar in response to Mary's comment. "I don't even know what I mean." She does sit up properly a moment later.

    "So let's do this." What Olivia means by that is anyone's guess. "I'll take your word for it, and we'll see if weird experiences line up!"

    She pauses then, to send of a text message or two.

    "Sorry, a friend was asking me what I'm up to." Among other things. "But yes. Weird stuff. Like..."

    Liv looks thoughtful, then she grins. She will take a moment to look around, finally reaching into her bag to fetch something. It's her scarf. It is cold out, after all. She isn't cold right now, though. She's warm. From alcohol. But that probably isn't why she's winding it around her face like a blindfold.

    "Okay, can't see a thing, right? But I can. Kind of. It's all weird. Is that something that you've heard of happening from a knock on the head? The doctor says it's just my imagination." She smirks, hops up, and with a wobble, says, "But let's find out if that's true, shall we?"

    The clearly upset young woman says, "I can totally sense your bones, by the way. Like all of them. I can tell that some people here are just... different." That last bit is said more quietly. For emphasis she adds, "-Very- different." A smile then, and another drink. A pause. Another drink. "This is so good."

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie walks over to Jean and Rogue, and says "Hello ladies, Jean, I know you know Isabel, the other lady here is Marie." He offers and looks to Rogue "This is Isabel, she is my date for tonight." He has the introductions made, and looks over to the bartender ordering two whiskeys.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary smiles over at Rogue, holding eye contact a bit as she raises a glass to the Southern Belle, then she turns her attention back to Olivia, blinking at the scarf. Then she listens to the explanation, and hrms, her expression a bit more serious as she contemplates what Liv told her.

"Well, okay, I'm not an expert, but it sounds like you got some sort of... like, powers. Pretty cool ones, if I'm being honest, aside from the whole vertigo thing. Though you know, this might not be a bad place to talk about them a bit more." She looks positively cryptic, her face radiating what Billy would describe as her "Enigmatic DM face And GOD I HATE IT WHAT'S ABOUT TO HAPPEN?!?"

Isabel Kane has posed:
Isabel offers a smile towards Jean and Rogue, "Miss Grey. Miss Marie. A pleasure." Then she's poking Sam lightly in the side and chuckling, "Better be for more than just tonight, sir." She chuckles and winks at him, then looks back to the two redheads, "I'm glad to be here, though. This has been a great party."

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    Olivia doesn't need a lot of prompting. It's not a case of liquid courage, but more liquid stupidity. But it just fits her situation like a glove. Besides, Mary is really being kind. And that's pretty cool, as far as the Wicked Witch is concerned.

    "Okay, well.. then here goes!" She looks thoughtful and reaches up to her witch's hat. That's where she kind of hesitates. It's a threshold. There's just no going back. "Ahh, the hell with it." She pulls off her hat and sets it on the bar. A moment later she's busy taking off the wig. In a moment, Elphaba is suddenly showing an impressive tumble of platinum blonde hair. But that's not the point. The point is that admist that, on the crown of her head, is... a blowhole.

    "This I haven't shown the doctors." For obvious reasons. "It just... happened. I woke up and I felt my hair moving all weird. How is this on the weird week scale?"

Jean Grey has posed:
Jean gets what she asked for, a replica of Rogue's drink, lifting it speculatively before taking a sip. "Oh, it's stronger than the bowl we had out before... sweet too." The sweet ones will get you, masking the kick! As for skating? "You know I'll take you on any time, anywhere!"

The rivalry continues!

Her attention shifts with Rogue, toward the unusual couple that her mentor makes with his partner from a distant star. "Oh yeah, must seem totally bonkers. But the Sh-" Oh right, they're supposed to keep things a little hush-hush, she can't go breaking her own rules, can she? "-but their people, uh, apparently they're quite big on... cultural assimilation. Usually it's of others by them, of course, but it's not always one-way. Who knows. Maybe it'll be in fashion on the capital next year for them all to hand out gifts. I told her to bring one for Xandra, so she wouldn't be left out."

Taking another long sip of the nog, she hoists the glass when Sam makes it over. "Hey Sam, Izzy. Yeah I think we've all gotten at least introduced. Although it's nice for it to happen somewhere other than, well-"

In the middle of a space battle. She doesn't say that part out loud!

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary blinks, looking over at Olivia, then hrms. "I think... you're definitely in the right place." She smiles, "Like you hair, though, it's very nice. Though... wow, is that like, echolocation?" Her head tilts a bit, and she thinks for a moment. Then she takes a deep breath.

And she thinks, or tries to think, really loudly towards Jean, << Hey! This is Thunderbolt, and I hate to disturb you and your insanely hot dress oh crap ignore that anyway I just thought that shoot well I think I have someone here that might need your help maybe. >>

Rogue has posed:
Rogue is about to respond to Jean when Sam and Isabel approach. She was also about to take another sip of her drink, but instead she lowers it and lets her green eyes sweep from one of them to the other. With a smile, she reaches a hand out toward Isabel. "Salut ! Un ami de Sam est un ami a moi." She says in a smoky tone, before flashing a grin. "Ya'll havin' fun?" She asks, switching from French back to her normal hard Mississippi accented English. "Ya both look pretty sharp, I would say." She states further before then she decides to raise her drink up for another sip of its contents.

Her eyes glance toward Mary and her friend in Liv, watching the Witch remove her hat and wig. She's not entirely sure what is going on there, but she likes the costume all the same.

She leans toward Jean then, and quietly says. "So it was a Clone thing then? How many are even out there? Are you even the base model?" She asks, with a mischievous grin touching her facial features. Jean is wise enough to know after three drinks, Rogue is starting to feel the effects of the liquor, even if she is prone to sobering up faster than the average person.

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    The response from Mary, on its face, makes no sense at all to Olivia. "I... do not follow. Oh, but thank you. I mean, I work really hard to keep my hair looking good, even if nobody ever sees it! It's a rough go, you know, being Wicked. It didn't occur to me how odd it is to wait off stage while people sing happily about your death eight times a week. Still the best job in the world, though! The kids love me."

    She strives every night to inspire little girls everywhere to wear black and probably become goths. Hopefully they don't write poetry.

    "But anyway, yes, all this happened. For whatever it is worth." She has seemingly forgotten that her scarf is still wound around her head. "It's weird. I suspect that like Dorothy, I'm not in Kansas anymore. I've bene hiding it all now. Thank god for the wig and wow do I suddenly wear hats a lot! Like, seriously. What is wrong with me?"

Jean Grey has posed:
"Oh please. I'm the deluxe model, if I'm anything!" Jean shoots back at Rogue, in full saucy-confidence mode herself. The egg nog helps! Probably, so does having her dress talked up in her head, even if she isn't putting those things together consciously.

She is certainly able to receive louder thoughts 'directed' at her, or, as the case may be with someone less practiced at such things, simply shouted at the top of her brain. Thoughs can be quiet or loud, and these are definitely the second. Her reply is more even-toned and practiced (at least for now, she oughta go easy on that drink):

<< Hello there. >> Did she just Obi-meme Mary? << I -did- think there was something familiar. What do you mean help? >> At first, she may be more concerned that there's actually some sort of threat about, as that kind of thing isn't unheard of. Villains love crashing parties. But everything seems even-keeled, and a quick ping across the room to the pair of telepathic space lovebirds reveals nothing troubling there.

She hadn't been watching the display with that hat, but she can quickly gather a little context, between what's spoken aloud and otherwise. << Oh, with your friend. Well... let's see. >> Pushing off the bar, she doesn't have too far to go down to where Olivia is waiting. "Hi there again, Rachel and Maddie's friend Olivia! So, I don't mean to pry too much into things, but... yes, as Mary was telling you, if you're looking for help with your, erm, issues, you may want to come by and speak with Charles or I later."

As in when she's not full of Nog and he's not hooking up with his space girlfriend!

Samuel Guthrie has posed:
Sam Guthrie will get the drinks and then excuses himself and Isabel, as they head outside to try the sleigh ride, little knowing the ambush that is waiting him.

Mary Bromfield has posed:
Mary hrms, "And no, I don't think there's anything wrong with you, Liv. If anything, it's a good look, but... yeah, what she said." She smiles a bit, "Think you're just getting leveled up a bit, to use a gaming term. Just something to get used to, I suppose, or figure out how to use."

She smiles over at Jean, "And thanks for getting the message. You're definitely the deluxe model." Okay, that might just be the drink talking. Or else Artemis is slipping ideas into Mary's head.

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    Olivia turns to 'look' at Jean. Well she directs her attention at her. It occurs to her she's not being very polite, though. "Hello! Oh, you know Rachel, too?" This is yet another mistaken identity thing. Jean is definintely /not/ talking about the same Rachel. Thankfully that bit doesn't go any further.

    "And you can help?" She tilts her head. She's super curious now. "So are you like surgeons, then? You can fix," and she gestures at her head, "this whole situation?"

    She turns back to Mary. "Leveled up? I... okay I know what that means sorta but I'm not sure how this constitutes progression." Her train of thought is distracted by Mary's compliment to Jean. But she can only say, "It's remarkable how your body is essentially identical And Maddie is just so..." Okay, Jean, please don't read her mind cause it's just way worse than that whole slip thing from before. Be happy she has not had enough to finish that sentence.

Jean Grey has posed:
"Well, we've probably got a dozen PHDs and a few MDs between us, here," Jean fires back with a bit of boastfulness and a grin, before shaking her head, "But... no, that's not exactly what I meant. Treating it, I mean. That's not really what we- Hmm. I guess it's probably easier this way." The evening has gone on, and Jean is perhaps a little less cautious given all the circumstances (and booze). So, show, not tell. Er. Even if it's kind of still talking. ANYWAY.

The next words are heard in Olivia's head, as well as echoed to her friend and several of the others nearby. << I mean that if you have unusual abilities, there are people here who are familiar with those. I can't say for certain that we can help you. But maybe we can, or if not, we might know somewhere better to look. >>

In truth Jean could figure out a lot right from here. But the talking part can have benefits of its own. She offers Olivia real-world smile to encourage her, alongside the mental communication, and glances back toward Mary. "And that's VERY flattering of both of. Anyway. I think it's better to table it tonight. I have to go speak with Charles."

Part of the reason might be that at one of the other doors to the large hall, now that things have thinned out, someone has come in escorting an adolescent girl with more than a passing resemblance to the pair of star-crossed lovers.

Olivia Gaudin has posed:
    As soon as Jean starts talking in her head, Olivia tugs that scarf down so she can see properly. She has no experience in this, so naturally she thinks a flurry of embarrassing things immediately. Don't ask. She also starts to think more clearly. But she talks at the same time anyway.

    "So.. I will come back then. Another day." She tries to do the whole trick with her card, and throws several of them on the floor. That was so not cool. She bends down to pick one up and offers it to Jean. "Please send me a message. Tell me when. I want to know what is wrong with me. What is really wrong with me."

Rogue has posed:
Some time later: the festive evening winds down as the last notes of the orchestra fade away, and the guests gradually bid their farewells. Charles Xavier stands by the grand staircase in the main foyer, expressing gratitude to everyone who attended, his face glowing with joy. Rogue, near the entrance, exchanges pleasantries and warm goodbyes with fellow faculty members, Her white gloved hands shake hands, and offer warm shoulder embraces to those headed out in to the winter wonderland beyond. The once lively event hall now echoes with the soft murmurs of those still lingering, reluctant to let go of the warmth the night brought. The twinkling lights of the Christmas trees add a final touch to the serene ambiance, casting a gentle glow on the memories made during this Westchester holiday celebration.